The right kind of glass doors and windows can save the average homeowner around $300 a year on heating or cooling costs. Why? Glass can be the weak links when it comes to inhibiting heat transfer through your home walls. Siding and insulation are both excellent insulators, but single pane glass can lead to higher energy bills. Modern energy-efficient glass patio doors are far better at keeping the heat where it is supposed to be. Take a look at four factors that make different patio doors, like impact doors and hurricane doors, more energy-efficient.
Multiple Glass Panes
Have you ever stood next to a single-paned glass door in the winter? Chances are, the air noticeably feels colder in that spot. Also, homes with single-paned windows and doors tend to leak out the cold air during warmer temperatures.
Most modern energy-efficient patio doors have double-paned glass. Some homes, those in colder regions, may use triple-paned glass. But for most people that do not reside in areas with extreme temperature fluctuations, the extra expense is not worth the marginal increase in energy savings. A local, authorized patio door dealer will evaluate your local weather conditions and help you select the right type of glass to make your home more energy-efficient.
Gas Between the Panes
Double-paned glass doors are not more energy efficient just because of the second layer of glass. More importantly, it is a space between the panes that is filled with gas.
The most widely used gas is argon. Its thermal conductivity is two-thirds that of air, nicely inhibiting heat loss. Krypton gas is also used sometimes. This gas is more insulating but can increase the price of the patio door.
To further insulate the glass, manufacturers will coat it with a Low Emissivity or Low-E coating. This coating consists of a layer of tiny metallic particles that reflect heat either indoors in the winter or back outside in the summer. The effect is so strong that some experts estimate it is like adding another layer of glass to the door.
Low-E coatings can be applied to both the outside of the glass or sandwiched between two panes. Both offer better insulation, though putting it inside the panes typically has a more substantial effect.
Lastly, the material used for the frame makes a difference. The glass is important because most patio doors, even hurricane doors and impact doors, are made from glass. People want to be able to enjoy the view of the backyard or beyond.
However, whether homeowners want to install sliding glass patio doors or French patio doors, the frame material will affect energy-efficiency.
The most insulating frame materials are fiberglass and vinyl. Wood is not far behind, but there is required maintenance for wood frames. Aluminum is not as insulating, but people still love it for its strength and durability, especially in hurricane-prone areas.
Choosing Your New Patio Doors
Now you have an idea of what to look for to ensure your new patio doors are energy-efficient. Learn more about hurricane doors and impact doors that will protect your home without covering up the gorgeous view.